Tips for Involving Grandparents in Your Child’s Life
Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about Tips for Involving Grandparents in Your Child’s Life.
It’s true that dealing with grandparents can sometimes be a pain, but research has shown that there are many benefits when grandparents are an active part of your child’s life. Just a few benefits include:
- Children are less likely to be depressed when they grow up
- Grandparents live longer when they watch the grandkids
- Parents get a little more time to themselves
Unfortunately, not all grandparents make it easy. Some seem disinterested in being involved on a regular basis, while others come on a little too strong.
Here are some tips on involving grandparents in your child’s life in a happy and constructive way.
Make Time to Visit
Not all grandparents are mobile. The only way they are going to be able to spend time with the grandkids is if you go and visit. Make as much time to visit as is possible for your family. That might mean a weekly visit if grandma and grandpa live across town, or a visit every few months if they live a few hours away.
Not only does visiting make it easy for grandparents to be part of your child’s life, it also gives you a chance to check in. You can see if they are keeping up the house, and if they live in a nursing home, you can make sure they aren’t suffering from nursing home neglect.
Invite Them Along
If your grandparents are still relatively independent, you can try inviting them to do things with your family. This is an especially good idea if you feel uncomfortable at grandma and grandpa’s house, but it’s also a great way to make memories. It’s meaningful activities with grandma and grandpa that children are likely to remember when they grow up.
A few things you can invite grandma and grandpa to do include:
- Go to the zoo
- Go to a museum
- Go shopping
- Attend school activities and events
- Bake cookies
- Make a craft at home
If you’re able, you should also consider inviting grandma or grandpa on vacation. Not only does it provide them with the ability to make memories with their grandchildren, they may also be able to watch the kids so you can get away for the evening.
When asked things by grandma and grandpa, it’s normal for your knee-jerk response to be no. That’s especially the case if you’re dealing with in laws or overbearing parents. However, there is power in saying yes.
If the grandparents ask to take your child for the afternoon, if they want to stop by and visit, or if they want to start taking your child to practice after school, say yes unless there is a good reason to say no. Even if you’re a little irritated or it makes you step outside your comfort zone, you’ll foster a better relationship between your child and his or her grandparents, which is better for everyone involved.
Spending time in person with grandparents isn’t always an option. Whether they aren’t feeling well or they live far away, technology can be a great way to stay in touch with grandma and grandpa.
There are some great video calling apps that will enable your child to speak to grandma and grandpa face-to-face. Not only can they chat, but they can watch movies together, play games together, and do other activities that require face-to-face interactions.
If the grandparents aren’t very tech-savvy, there are other ways to stay connected. Most grandparents love getting text messages, especially if pictures are included, and don’t forget a simple phone call can be a great way to stay connected!
Keep Them in the Loop
Involving grandparents in your child’s life isn’t always about connecting them directly. Sometimes, it’s just making sure that they know what’s going on in your child’s life. That’s especially the case if you have very young children who they don’t see very often or teenagers who are a bit aloof.
Keep them in the loop by telling them what activities your teen is involved in, what their favorite band is, and what they do in their spare time. If you have a toddler, keep them posted on their favorite food, their favorite toy, and what movie they are watching over and over again.
Fostering a positive relationship between your child and their grandparents isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. With these tips, you can involve your child’s grandparents in your family’s life in ways that work for you and them.